Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Gartner Raises 2013 IT Spending Forecasts to $3.8 Trillion

stockdatacenterThe research firm Gartner is out today with its latest forecast for global spending on information technology in 2013, and the good news is that it’s higher than it was before.

Worldwide, Gartner says, companies and organizations will spend a combined $3.8 trillion on hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications. That’s $100 billion higher than the last forecast it made in October.

While the U.S. avoided the fiscal cliff that five months ago cast a pall over everything related to the global economy and thus IT spending, the automatic sequestration that has mandated sudden cuts in government spending has offset any gains. And while Europe has settled down, the latest sovereign debt issues in Cyprus have also served as something of a setback. Both are seen as short-term headwinds.

Spending on devices — smartphones, tablets and printers — has grown like crazy, which shouldn’t surprise anybody, and will continue to grow, the firm says. Last year, spending on devices was $665 billion globally, and is expected to reach $718 billion this year, or 8 percent more.

Spending on enterprise software is running a close second, and is expected to grow by more than 6 percent to $297 billion. Here, a slowdown in IT operations management software is being offset by growth in spending on database management systems.

IT services and data center systems are also expected to grow this year, but a bit more slowly than in the previous forecast. Spending is coming down in the near-term on external storage and in Europe. IT services is seeing some intense price competition and redirection of budgets away from new consulting projects.

The slowest-growing segment will be telecom services, which declined last year. Gartner says it will generate about $1.7 trillion in revenue, up about 2 percent from last year. Declines in spending on voice are being offset by mobile data.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work